Does your job demand that you stare at a computer screen for hours at a stretch? If so, eyestrain can become a serious problem. A newly released story by the everon small-business blog says that workers plugged into their computers can face a host of problems, from watery eyes to headaches, increased sensitivity to light and difficulty focusing. The good news? Avoiding eyestrain is actually quite easy, even if you have to stare at the computer screen for eight hours. The everon blog offered some simple strategies for reducing the negative effects of eyestrain.
First, you need to practice the 20/20/20 rule. Basically, this rule says that once every 20 minutes you need to take 20 seconds to look at an object that is 20 feet or more away from you. The reason? This forces your eyes to focus on something that’s not a computer screen. Additionally, it gives your eyes a bit of a workout. The everon blog suggests that every 20 minutes you walk take a 20-second break to walk 20 feet or more. This is not only good for your eyes, but for your wellbeing and mental state, too.
But how do you remember to take these breaks? Fortuitously, everon lists several apps that can help. For example, there’s Workrave, which sends a message on your screen when it’s time to take your micro-break. Workrave also suggests specific exercises that can help keep your eyes healthy. If you don’t like this app, you can also try EyeLeo, where an animated leopard guides you through short exercises for your eyes. EyeLeo will blank out your computer screen when it’s time to take a break.
The Coffee Break App
There’s also the Coffee Break app, though it’s only available for Apple. This app will steadily darken your screen as a reminder your break is coming up. When the break arrives, your screen is totally dark, and it’s time to step away from the computer. Obviously, not even Coffee Break can force you to give your eyes a rest. That’s up to you. Here’s hoping you don’t skip those important eye breaks.